Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Feeling sort of gorgeous

I did Katy's hair differently this morning. 

She wants to grow out her fringe. I said yes, because when her hair is wet and away from her face after a shower she looks even more beautiful than she does with those big eyes peeping out from under. 

She has short, dark, naturally glossy hair in a vaguely bob-like shape but she hates me brushing it. She loathes having it messed with and yet she was blessed with a double crown which means that her natural parting is like a donkey's hind leg. Her resistance to brushing and styling mean that quite often she goes to school with her hair pretty much as it got out of bed.

Wow. This is a profound post, isn't it? 

Anyway. The fringe. I said yes, because the more of her lovely face that I can see, the better. Today we crossed a bit of a Rubicon in that it became clear that it's now long enough to need the heavy fringe kept out of the way if she is to continue to see out. Let's see whether she's going to grow it out or have it trimmed back in again, then. Time will tell. 

I carefully separated out the fringe, brushed it together, put a twist in it and clipped it on top of her head with no less than three hairclips. Two blue and a pink. Some wispy bits came down immediately and I'm quite sure that the whole lot will be out on the playground by lunchtime, but she looked just lovely. 

I said so, Daddy said so, Grandma said so. Big sister sort of grunted, which Katy took for agreement as well. On the way to school, a neighbour complimented Katy on her hair and another Mum commented, 'Great hair, Kate,' as we passed by. Katy stood tall and flipped her hair about a bit, looking pleased. I checked her clips. 

Leaning down close, I whispered to her, 'You are gorgeous. Are you feeling gorgeous?'

Pink cheeked, she whispered back, 'Sort of.

We squeezed hands and walked in the school doors. 

A tiny moment. Nothing earth-shattering, nothing important in the eternal scheme of things. But I thought my heart would burst and I wanted to say thank you. 

I look at my daughters, both of them, and I am amazed at how beautiful they are. I suppose that I have to take into account that I am their mother, and so I would see their gorgeousness whether it was really there or not, and so I count myself lucky that they are actually gorgeous, and so I do not have to delude myself. But my point is, I love them with a ferocity that I didn't think was possible before I had babies of my own. 

I look at my children and I see their beauty.

I am your child, Lord God. I know that you look at me and think that I'm beautiful. You know how hard that is even for me to type, because for all I know about your endless love, and your inability to make mistakes, I think that you're wrong.

I'm not touting for compliments or asking for reassurance. I know what there is to know from a head-perspective. I tell my girls that the world's definition of beauty is not real and they should never measure themselves against it. I tell them that they shouldn't compare themselves to anyone else because everyone is unique and special and no two people are alike. I tell them that beauty is far more than good skin and good hair and slim thighs and a narrow waist. I tell them that they are beautiful just how they are and they should stand tall as princesses, for you are their Daddy.

This applies to me, too. I know it does, I know. I just can't seem to move the knowledge from my head to my heart. I look in the mirror and I don't like what I see. I compare myself with others and find myself wanting. I see the airbrushing and elongating of models on the magazines, the billboards, the television and still, I wish...

There's just a huge hole in me that needs filling. A deep, old wound that needs healing.

You are the Healer. In your time, Lord. 

I wonder if you ever try to whisper to me, 'You are gorgeous. Are you feeling gorgeous?' and I plug my ears, shake my head and turn away. For I am your little girl just as Katy is mine. And strange as I might find it, I know that you love me with a ferocity that makes mine for her look half-hearted. 

I'm glad that Katy started today feeling sort of gorgeous. Long, long, long may it last. I suspect she'll come out of school with her hair in her eyes and two out of three clips (if I'm lucky - we get through hairclips faster than biscuits round here) and we'll have to start again tomorrow, but I like that she went into school this morning feeling special. 

I bet you want that for me. I know that you love me, and you approve of me, and you look at me and see beauty. 

Abba, Daddy?

I would like to feel sort of gorgeous.


  1. Oh my goodness, that caught me off guard! How very beautiful, and you know what got me? We squeezed hands and walked.... That's what God does to us, when we don't see Him or hear Him, we feel the squeeze of His hand. Pass the tissues.

    1. Thanks, Helen. It was just one of those small heart-melty moments that needed writing down. I'm glad it got you. :-)

  2. I love, love, love this. With two teens who constantly tell me how "ugly" they are because no one complimented their outfit that day, I long for them (and me) to hear Him say they're gorgeous--and know that it is true.

    1. Thanks, Ginger. I think it doesn't matter how old you are - this is a hard one.


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